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Is this really a post-imperial age?

The absence of formal empires is unprecedented argues a new book

By Tanjil Rashid   October 2020
No longer ruling the waves: Last Night of the Proms Credit: Guy Bell/PA Wire/PA Images

No longer ruling the waves: Last Night of the Proms Credit: Guy Bell/PA Wire/PA Images

The 20th century was an age of decolonisation, resulting in the birth of old countries newly liberated (Poland, Egypt, India) as well as entirely new states (Yugoslavia, Saudi Arabia, Israel). The last immediately recognisable empire became extinct in 1991, Samir Puri says, when the USSR fell.

But for Puri, imperialism remains relevant since the “21st-century world order is a…

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